Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Pride is an interesting thing. It's considered one of the seven deadly sins, but it is also what can motivate a person to go beyond himself.
Pride is a strong motivating factor for a person to act, sometimes stronger than survival. Faced with a dire situation where survival is at stake in some form or other, depression can overcome the survival instinct, but pride can overcome depression.
More interestingly, faced with a non-dire situation where the survival instinct is ineffective, pride can be a stronger motivating force than material incentives. Think of the man who strives to succeed at his job, or at a sport, not purely for material gains, but for the sake of his pride, to prove to himself and others that he can indeed succeed. Could this motivating factor be stronger than other material and emotional factors?
Another interesting thing about pride: On the one hand, it is a selfish concern - one's own pride, and one's own ego. But when extended to the idea of the pride of a nation or the pride of a team, which is possibly linked to the pride of the self in a transcendent sort of way, it pulls on motivating factors beyond personal ego or face, and can drive a person to act in the interests of a larger body, sometimes at substantial risk to oneself, for the sake of the pride of that larger body, one that does not have tangible existence beyond the collection of other individuals such as himself. How puzzling.
How many people are truly proud of their country?